St. Patrick’s Day School Theme Falls Off the Wagon

st. Patricks day School themeStapleton schools celebrate several holidays, hold theme days, and have many concerts throughout the year. This year, the school has added even more 2nd-tier holidays so that teachers can have a little less prep work, and kids can just focus on dressing up and having fun. The most recently celebrated of these holidays was St. Patrick’s Day. Of course, the kids were encouraged to wear green, but it was all of the other activities that were disturbing.

Math class used Irish themed math problems such as ‘how many pints of beer are in one keg?’ Kids also brought the ingredients of their parents’ favorite mixed drinks, where they learned how to make these drinks as a supplement to home economics class. Furthermore, girls were told if a boy asked to kiss them, they could go ahead and do it, ‘because it was a special day, and no one would judge them for it.’ Fighting for the boys was encouraged, as teachers and administrators claimed it as an Irish tradition. Some classes did very little schoolwork at all, either listening to Irish music and dancing or watching movies focused on drinking such as Leaving Las Vegas and Barfly. Drama classes acted out the movie Rudy while PE kids played football and only ran the option as Notre Dame did back when they were good. All of this may seem like fun for the kids, but is it educational? Stapleton parents disagree on the merits.

“I think it is a waste of school resources,” says Tracey Gaies. “How is this helping my child compete in the real world? It’s just fantasy stuff, and worst of all, it’s negative fantasy stuff. I am definitely going to keep my kid home from school next year.” Erin Peterson agrees. “Not only does it not paint a true picture of Irish people, it perpetuates a negative image of Irish people and the holiday,” said Peterson. “Allowing the kids to view St. Patrick’s Day as a time for drinking and fighting, isn’t setting our children up for success.”

Some parents disagree. “As long as it is getting applied in problem solving, I have no issue with it,” says Dan Vardaman. “Truthfully, a big part of an education is a social education. Maybe if the kids learn about what St. Patrick’s Day is all about now, it won’t shock them so much when they get older.” Chris Bolsem believes the schools are doing the right thing as well. “Hey, why not let the kids have a little St. Patty’s Day fun? Adults like it way more than Christmas and Halloween, why not be able to share that fun with your kid? Heck, maybe if they look forward to St. Patrick’s Day more, it will take the pressure off of Christmas. Plus, I love that my kid will be able to mix me a Captain and Coke now.”

At this point, administrators are not backing away from the celebration. “We always evaluate things as we go,” said Principal Plakke at Westerly Creek. “So far, I think it has been a success, with very little fallout. The kids had fun, the teachers had fun, and I believe the students are better today than they were yesterday.” Ironically, the students’ parents are typically not better than they were yesterday after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

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